From: Dave Wright - WoodenBoat Forum
Location: Seattle, WA
"I lived and breathed Opti's from 1958 to 1962. A yacht club started the program as a community service. Any 9 year old kid could sign up for 5 bucks and a note showing he could swim. Yacht club membership wasn't required and I believe in some cases the 5 bucks was slippped in there by one or more of the adult volunteer instructors. Local businessmen contributed to pay for the pram materials. A local builder slapped them out.
We were only permitted to race; no easy back and forth reaching. Then the club got high performance fiberglass dinghies and we kids were able to move up, again at essentially no cost as a community service by the yacht club. But the original prams were used and maintained for more than 20 years. We kids got to paint them and help with repairs too. A lot of kids became hot sailors and there were plenty of positions to fill on larger boats.
We had canvas duck sails, the locale was windy, and they softened up quickly. Sprit and outhaul adjustments were satisfactory and made a difference. The original plans won't meet the current class requirements, but I'll post them here in case anyone gets the urge to knock one out. It's a real simple boat.
Incidentally, it was amazing how the sheet metal rudder "fittings" held up with a simple 1/4" brazing rod as a pintle. Kids would wear them out though, with lot's of hard sculling on the occasional windless evening."